Category Archives: Hiking

Color Guam News

So the wife has been selling our activity book, Explore, Learn and Color Guam for several months now. The book combines a virtual tour of Guam with activities and coloring pages for over thirty historical sites and places of interest on our beautiful island. A unique feature of our book is the use of QR codes to direct readers to our website to hear audio descriptions of the sites in English and Chamorro.

A couple satisfied customers at Guam's Big BBQ Block Party in July 2015

One of the big events for the book was her participation in GUMA, a unique small business incubator offered by the Galaide Group and the Small Business Development Center at UOG. GUMA’s mission is to develop local artists and entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses and unique merchandise showcasing Guam’s culture. At the conclusion of the program we had the opportunity to compete for a Federally Funded grant to build our business. And thanks to Taliea’s long hours we actually won a grant.

With the grant money we were able to have the book translated into Japanese, record audio in Japanese and fund an initial print run in Japanese just in time for the Obon Festival this month. We are very excited about this news as Japan sends over a million visitors to Guam every year. The activity book is a great way for tourists to explore our island and learn about Guam’s rich history and culture.

Catching Up

So what then? What have I been doing to fill the hours away from my computer? Simple really.

Paddling.
I spent a great deal of time this year in canoes. And I loved every minute of it. By late September/early October, I was paddling every day, mornings, evenings, sometimes twice a day. Still am paddling everyday, though schedules are a little messed up during the holidays. With the new year comes a firmer resolve to push my paddling to the next level. Off island competition, perhaps trying out for the Guam National Team.

Running.
Yeah, running. And I hate running. But I started jogging before paddling, trying to lose some more weight and increase my stamina. Before I knew what was happening, I was running miles and miles every day. Started doing 5K runs, then a 10K a few weeks ago before I was sidelined (more on that later). I knew something was up when I was driving home late one night, a little tipsy, and I muttered to myself, ‘I am really starting to dig running.’ Uh oh.

Drinking
Yep. I fell off the wagon. After over a year without a drink, I started up again. And I made up for lost time kiddies. I’m not exactly talking Bukowski here, but I’ve been raging for a while now. It’s good to go off on a bender every now and then, and I’ve been on several lately. ‘Well I have been drunk now for over six weeks | I passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks…’ I’ll probably be tapering off after the holidays though, as I kick up the training regimen in 2007.

Working
Well, it’s been busy at the old office, and the new offshore office. But I don’t like talking about work. So I won’t tarry here for long. Got a trip to Manila this year though, and a couple people under me. Next year promises more of the same. I’ll keep y’all posted as things develop.

Recuperating
Well I go slammed by some crazy infection this year. What started out as a bug bite turned into a nasty boil, then multiplied on my legs. Yes, the infamous Guam sores hit me hard folks. Basically these are virulent staph infections that affect lots of people on Guam. Let’s just say the water isn’t the cleanest in some locations (cough cough Boat Basin cough cough). Most of September and October I was on antibiotics, trying to clear out the infection. A couple guys on the paddling team also got slammed by the bacteria, one ended up in the hospital in Hawaii for a week on an IV he was so bad. I thought mine was vanquished, but late November/early December the sores came back, my lymph nodes in my groin became hard and painful and I fell into violent chills and fevers for a few days. The infection got down into my bones apparently and I almost got stuck with an IV. Luckily the horse pill antibiotics worked and while I still ain’t feeling 100%, I am feeling much better. My lower leg is still tender and a bit swollen, so I haven’t been running is a few weeks. I stayed out of the water for a couple weeks too, though I am paddling again now. I’m hoping the leg heals up soon, I am really twitchy for a run.

That’s about it. Now you know what I’ve been up to, or at least the part that’s safe for public consumption. I leave the rest up to your imaginations. Probably start off the new year with a post on what I read, watched and listened to in 2006. And maybe plans/resolutions for the new year. One of which will be to continue blogging.

69 Days Later

Took a little hike this afternoon down to Tarzan Falls, a nearby waterfall. It was the first time I’d been down there since June 12th, sixty nine days ago. It was the very end of the rainy season that morning and the waterfall was barely flowing. Today it was a raging torrent. Check out the difference.

Tarzan Falls, June 12 2006
Tarzan Falls, June 12 2006

Tarzan Falls, August 20 2006
Tarzan Falls, August 20 2006

Summertime In Missouri

Trackler Mountain, Mark Twain National Forest - Madison County, MO

Some members of my family went on a float trip over Memorial Day weekend; it’s a Missouri summertime tradition to go floating on Ozark rivers and streams. Memorial Day is one of the peak times to go floating and my eldest brother said the river was full of drunk yahoos. They floated the Courtois (pronounced COE-TAH-WAY) into the Huzzah and finally the Meramac. He said the Courtois was very closed in amongst the trees and with plenty of good fishing. I can’t really remember. I floated the Courtois once in graduate school, and that was a few years ago now. Once they hit the Huzzah, they were amidst the holiday drunkards on inner tubes. And when they got on the Meramac, power boats joined in the fray, which must have been a total buzzkill.

His description of this float, along with an earlier one he did on the Jacks Fork got me to daydreaming about a nice float trip. It’s been a few years. Last one I did was in 2000 on the Current for a three days. I really enjoyed that trip and I’m having a hard time not thinking about floating or backpacking around the Ozarks this summer. Seems like a far better way to spend my time than sitting in a cubicle babysitting computers. I’d especially like to spend some time hiking the Ozark Trail, wandering along the hills doing some long distance backpacking for a week or two. The Ozarks are a great place to hike, camp, float or fish. And there’s all sorts of wildlife in the mountains, including bears and  even the occassional mountain lion. I’m not kidding. It’s where my mind is definitely at right now.

An Paean To Jerky

Slate has an entertaining little piece about the great American snack meat and it’s uniquely rugged connotations. Seems it is the snack for rugged outdoorsy types, hunters and Marlboro men in the great American West. And I must admit, I’ve always wondered what pemmican, a quintessential trapper and native American food, tastes like.

In its purest form, jerky is produced more or less like other dried-meat products around the world: Tibetan dried mutton, South African biltong, Spanish mojama, even Italian prosciutto and bresaola. Meat—often salted, sometimes marinated—is left to cure in the open air. Contemporary jerky-makers might use a very slow oven or a dehydrator to hurry things up; they might also smoke the meat to add flavor. Although it can take a serious head-jerk to bite off a hunk of particularly tough jerky, the word is actually derived from charqui, the Spanish adaptation of the Quechuan word ch’arki, which referred to dried meat during the Incan empire. By cutting meat into thin strips and allowing it to air-dry, Native Americans in the Northern and Southern hemispheres could quickly turn lean meat into a stable, light source of protein—an early power bar.

I never quite understood the fascination that Japanese tourists seem to have with large bags of jerky. Seriously they must buy immense quantities of the stuff because all the shops stock large bags of the stuff here. I have this mental image of all these people sitting around Tokyo masticating away on duty free beef jerky.

Beef JerkySince I started hiking regularly, my beef jerky consumption has increased markedly. I rarely ate the chewy bits of protein before, even after months on the Atkin’s diet. Frankly it just wore out my jaw chewing those strips of salted leather. But jerky is pretty darn convenient as trail food. A couple pieces of jerky and a handful of almonds and I got a quick (and light) trail lunch. I’ve found my particular favorite brands are Jack Links and Tillamook Country Smokers. Both companies make a more palatable type jerky that is a little moister and more chewy. Not bad at all. Certainly better than those nauseous Slim Jims that hang out at the gas station counters. Those things are simply vile. The Slate article mentions some gourmet jerky purveyors like American Grass Fed Beef and Gary West. Maybe I should try the jerky of the month club?